Fatwaa ID: 631
Assalamualykum mufti saab. There is a family who have 2 houses given for rent and have a lot of loan too but they don’t have any other proper source of income. Can we give zakat to them.
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
At the outset, we wish to point out that zakaah eligibility as well as liability is determined on an individual basis. Each member of a family is independent. The financial position of one is not affected by the financial position of another. Minor children however are dependent on their father.
Nevertheless, a person will be considered eligible to receive zakaah if his zakaatable wealth and nonessential wealth together, after deducting debts, are valued at less than the nisaab amount. If both together are valued at nisaab or more, then he will not be eligible to receive zakaah.
In the enquired situation, you may use the above to determine whether the person is eligible to receive zakaah or not, taking into account all non-essential wealth and zakaatable assets, as well as the loans. A person owning two properties in most probable case may not be zakaah eligible. However, rental properties that are being used solely as income sources will be regarded as essential.
A moral point of consideration: Just because a person is technically zakaah eligible by virtue of legalities, it does not necessarily mean that he should morally be assisted with zakaah funds. Such individuals may be better off with other avenues of assistance, perhaps even financial advice. A pauper that barely has enough to provide a single meal for himself or his family, and there are millions like this, is far more eligible than one living in luxuries but with somewhat of a deficit. You should choose wisely who you give your zakaah to. The greater the benefit, the more your reward.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
07/29/1444 AH – 02/20/2023 CE | AML1-7113
وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين
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